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House Hunting Trip (HHT)

How to complete DD 1351-2
Other PCS Entitlements
DD1351-2 Voucher Checklist En Route Travel Real Estate/Unexpired Lease Allow
Frequently Asked Questions Mvmt/Storage of Goods Relocation Income Tax Allow (RITA)
Conversion Rates POV Shipment within CONUS En Route Travel to/from OCONUS
  Temp Qrtrs Subsistence Exp (TQSE) Renewal Agreement Travel (RAT)
  Misc Exp Allowance (MEA) POV Shipment Pick-up/Drop-off Exp

HHT Joint Travel Regulation (JTR), Volume II, paras. C5600-C5634
A House Hunting Trip is a discretionary entitlement (your agency makes the determination of entitlement).  Payment of travel and transportation expenses for you and/or your spouse, together or individually, for one round trip, not to exceed 10 calendar days, (trip may not be broken up into 10 one-day round trips, etc.) between the localities of the old and new duty stations for the purpose of seeking residence quarters, may be authorized when circumstances warrant it (discretionary allowance).

A requirement for authorization is that both the old and the new Permanent Duty Station (PDS) must be located in the United States or in a non-foreign OCONUS location like Alaska or Puerto Rico. A round trip performed by you, the employee, must be accomplished before reporting to the new permanent duty station. You are in a duty status at no charge to leave during the authorized absence. Your spouse may take a HHT at any time before relocation of the family to the new PDS, as long as it is begun within one year of your report date. (see 1st note)

Note:  If your effective date of transfer was before 1 August 2011, you have two years to execute your entitlements.  If your effective date of transfer was 1 August 2011 or later, the time to execute the entitlement is reduced to one year.

Note: The period of Temporary Quarters Subsistence Expenses (TQSE) (AE) allowance must be reduced or avoided if a round trip to seek permanent residence quarters has been made. (The number of days of HHT authorized and taken is subtracted from the first 30-day period of TQSE (AE) only if TQSE greater than 30 days has been authorized.)

There are two methods of HHT that may be authorized:
1. Lodgings Plus Method - reduces TQSE (AE) but not TQSE (LS)
2. Lump Sum (LS) Amount Method - reduces TQSE (AE) but not TQSE (LS)

The Permanent Change of Station (PCS) travel authorization/order (per JTR, Appendix I and par. C5612) must include:
1. The authorized method of HHT
2. Transportation mode (to include local transportation)
3. Period of time authorized
4. New PDS duty reporting date, and
5. Statement that a transportation agreement has been signed

Maximum Allowance for Lodgings-Plus (AE) HHT
The maximum per diem rate authorized for (AE) HHT is limited to the current Standard CONUS Rate.  Lodging is paid on an actual expense basis for the single room rate not to exceed the Standard CONUS lodging rate (receipts are required).  The accompanying spouse is authorized 3/4 of the employee's rate.

Note:  Effective 10/1/2011 the Standard CONUS Rate is $123.00 which equates to $77.00 for lodging and $46.00 for Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) per day.

The meal allowance is paid without receipts or itemization (on days when travel begins and ends, the M&IE rate is payable at three quarters of a day, regardless of time of departure or arrival for travel > 24 hours). The PCS Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation (MALT) rate for POC travel to and from the HHT location is $ 0.23.

Note: Effective January 1, 2012 the PCS MALT rate changed from $0.235 per mile to $0.23 per mile. Local transportation authorized must be consistent with your transportation mode to and from new duty location. The total number of days payable for HHT may not exceed 10 days (which includes travel days). Separate round trips by you and your spouse are allowed; however, the overall cost to the government is limited to the cost of one round trip for you and your spouse traveling together. The following daily maximums apply if the (AE) HHT is taken by the:

1. Employee only 100% of Standard CONUS Rate
2. Spouse only 100% of Standard CONUS Rate
3. Employee and Spouse together

Employee - 100% of Standard CONUS Rate

Spouse - 3/4 of employee rate

4. Employee and Spouse separately Both authorized to full rate
(limited to maximum cost had
they traveled together)

Note: In instances where a round trip HHT is authorized and you report for duty at the new PDS upon completion of the HHT instead of returning to the old duty station, TOSE allowances, if authorized, are payable in lieu of house-hunting subsistence for the days spent seeking permanent housing up to the day before reporting for duty at the new PDS, not to exceed the number of days authorized for HHT. The travel portion to the new duty station to perform the HHT is paid as en route travel not as HHT travel.

Under these circumstances an employee is not in a duty status while house hunting.

A House-Hunting Trip should not be taken until you have an official travel authorization in hand with a report date and a Transportation Agreement (DD Form 1618) has been signed.

Where to submit your Lodgings-Plus (AE) HHT claim
File a settlement voucher within five working days of completion of each portion of travel. To file for a lodgings-plus HHT submit the following by fax to one of these numbers:
Commercial: 216-367-3422
DSN: 580-7833

 

Voucher Submission:
1. DD Form 1351-2 (Travel Voucher/Sub voucher) - Be sure to include appropriate signatures and dates.
2. DD Form 1614, Travel Authorization, including any amendments.
3. Paid itemized lodging receipt and receipts for any other reimbursable expense of $75 or more (potentially including a rental car receipt).
4. Copy of air schedule itinerary to include the transportation cost, if flying.
5. Indicate if your spouse traveled on HHT on DD Form 1351-2.
6. Annotate advances received in block 9 on the DD Form 1351-2 or provide advance payment paperwork.

Maximum Authorization for a Lump Sum Amount HHT
When a Lump Sum HHT is authorized, the per diem portion of HHT is calculated as follows:

1. You and your spouse both utilize HHT (together or separately) - the applicable locality rate is multiplied by 6.25. (Reduces TQSE (AE) first 30 days by six days.)
2. Only one utilizes HHT, you or your spouse - the applicable locality rate is multiplied by 5. (Reduces TQSE (AE) first 30 days by five days).

For example, if the locality rate were $166 ($124 lodging and $42 meals), you and your spouse utilizing a HHT would receive $166 X 6.25 for a total of $1,037.50, whereas if only one utilizes a HHT the calculation is $166 X 5 for a total of $830. Any balance from the determined Lump Sum amount not used by the employee still belongs to the employee and may be taxable.

Where to submit your Lump Sum Amount HHT claim
To file for a Lump Sum amount HHT prior to performing the HHT - fax a copy of your DD Form 1614 (Travel Order) authorizing (LS) HHT, along with a signed DD Form 1351-2, requesting payment of (LS) HHT per diem to one of these numbers:
Commercial: 216-367-3422
DSN: 580-7833

Upon completion of your HHT file a settlement voucher as provided below within 5 working days of completing the house hunting trip.

Note:  Lodging taxes are not authorized as an additional reimbursement on (LS) HHT.

Voucher submissions:
1. DD Form 1351-2 (Travel Voucher/Sub voucher) - Be sure to include appropriate signatures and dates.
2. DD Form 1614, Travel Authorization, including any amendments.
3. Receipt for any reimbursable expense of $75 or more.
4. Itinerary of air schedule to include the transportation cost, if flying.
5. Indicate on the DD Form 1351-2 if your spouse traveled on HHT.
6. Documentation for any Lump Sum HHT per diem already paid.
7. DD Form 2762 - Direct Deposit Authorization or complete EFT information.

While the house-hunting trip may only be authorized for you and your spouse, there is nothing to prevent dependents from accompanying you at your own expense.

 

How to complete a DD Form 1351-2 for House Hunting Trip (HHT)

Block 1: PAYMENT

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) is mandatory absent a waiver from your agency. You may submit a DD 2762 or other documentation as long as it contains the following to ensure payment
is properly transferred to your account:

a. The Traveler's name
b. The Traveler's SSN
c. The Traveler's address
d. The routing number
e. The account number
f. Whether the account is Checking or Savings

SPLIT DISBURSMENT when available requires an "x" in the block requesting it and the dollar amount to be sent to the Government Travel Card. If reimbursement is less than the amount requested, then the whole reimbursement would be sent to the Government Travel Card.

Block 2: Last name, first name, and middle initial of employee.
Block 3: Grade of the employee.
Block 4: Social Security Number of employee.
Block 5: Indicate "PCS" and "Member/Employee" - for employee only.
Indicate "PCS," "Member/Employee," Dependent(s) - for employee and dependents.
Indicate "PCS" and "TDY'"- for TDY enroute.
Indicate "PCS," "Dependent(s)" - for dependent(s) travel only.
Blocks 6a-6d: Valid mailing address for receipt of advice of payment.
Block 6e: Valid e-mail address.
Block 7: Daytime telephone number in the event DFAS Rome should need to make contact.
Block 8: Order number, which is listed on the orders or amendments (see DD Form 1614 Block 25) provided to the employee.
Block 9: List any and all previous payments paid from any finance office pertaining to the travel period being claimed. List "0.00" if
you have not received any payments and "?" if you are not certain.
Block 10: Do Not Use - Leave Blank.
Block 11: Employee's new duty station address where employee is being assigned. (See DD Form 1614 Block 8).
Blocks 12-14: Dependent(s): Dependent children may travel on a House Hunting Trip but at employee (not government) expense. If your dependent spouse is traveling from previous duty station or residence to new duty station, then follow steps below to complete this portion. ***Note: Mark "accompanied" if spouse traveled with employee or "unaccompanied" if spouse traveled separate from the employee. If employee only traveled, then mark "unaccompanied."
Block 12a: List last name, first name, and middle initial of spouse.
Block 12b: List the relationship to the employee.
Block 12c: List the date of marriage for spouse.
Block 13: List the address where dependents were residing at time PCS orders were received.
Block 14: Indicate whether household goods have been shipped.
Block 15: Itinerary
a: Date: List the year the travel was conducted. Next to "DEP" list the date organization/residence was departed (e.g., 06/1). Next to "ARR" list the date arrived at a location for Authorized Delay enroute or new PDS if travel was performed the same day.
Next to "DEP" list the date departed for next stage of trip.
Next to "ARR" list the date arrived at your New Permanent Duty Station.
b: Place: Ensure all places where you changed modes of transportation, departed a country or arrived in a country are included.
c: Means/Modes of Travel: List the type of transportation used for each leg of travel using the appropriate two letter code.
d: Reason for Stop: List the reason for stops using the appropriate two letter code.
e: Lodging Cost: List any lodging expense incurred while en route. (List any Tax for Lodging in Block 18)
f: POC (Privately Owned Conveyance) Miles: Insert actual miles driven.
Block 16: POC Travel: Must indicate whether POC is Owner/Operator or Passenger. If you are claiming mileage for an authorized POC driven to the New Duty Station, then annotate Own/Operator.
Block 17: Indicate the total duration of travel.
Block 18: Reimbursable Expenses:
a: List the date the expense was incurred.
b: List the type of expense (i.e., taxi fares).
c: List the amount of the expense.
Block 19: Does not apply to this Civilian Permanent Change of Station claim.
Block 20: Claimant Signature and Date: (a & b): Physical signature of traveler and date the voucher was signed. Both must be complete. The member signs all PCS claims.
Block 20: Supervisor/Reviewer and Date: Supervisory Chain of Command signature. All parts (20c, 20d, 20e, & 20f) must be completed. Check with your order issuing agency in case
your claim is to be forwarded for review before submission to DFAS Rome.
Block 21: (If applicable) Handwritten name, signature and date (a, b, & d) of approving officer if authorizing expenses not listed on original order.
Note: Approving officer must list additional expenses authorized in block 29
Block 22: Leave Blank - Finance Office use only.
Blocks 23-28: Leave Blank - Finance Office use only.
Block 29: Used to clarify anything out of the ordinary, such as:
Indicate any and all leave periods during HHT.
Clarify any additional travel-related issues.
Reflect exchange rates when working with foreign currency.
List/explain any additional expense authorized after the fact by the AO.

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View the sample form below then download the DD Form 1351-2 to get started!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for a househunting trip expenses allowance?
You are eligible for a househunting trip expenses allowance if you are an employee who is authorized to transfer, and in addition:
(a) Both your old and new official stations are located within the United States;
(b) You are not assigned to Government or other prearranged housing at your new official station; and
(c) Your old and new official stations are 75 or more miles apart (as measured by map distance) via a usually traveled surface route.

Who is not eligible for a househunting trip expenses allowance?
New appointees and employees assigned under the Government Employees Training Act (5 U.S.C. 4109) are not eligible for a househunting trip expenses allowance.

Under what circumstances will I receive a househunting trip expenses allowance?
You will receive a househunting trip expenses allowance if:
(a) Your agency authorized you to perform a househunting trip in advance of the travel (the agency authorization must specify the mode of transportation and the period of time allowed for the trip);
(b) You have signed a service agreement;
(c) Your agency has established, and informed you of, the date you are to report to your new official station; and
(d) You meet any additional conditions your agency has established.

May my spouse and I perform separate househunting trips at Government expense?
Yes, however, your reimbursement will be limited to the cost that would have been incurred if you and your spouse had traveled together on one round trip.

How soon may I and/or my spouse begin a househunting trip?
You may begin your househunting trip as soon as your agency has notified you of your transfer and issued a travel authorization for a househunting trip. To take maximum advantage of your trip, however, it is very important that you become familiar as quickly as you can with your new official station area (e.g., housing market conditions, school locations, etc.). If you are selling your residence at your old official station, you should not begin your househunting trip until you have a current appraisal of the value of the residence so that you can more accurately determine the appropriate price range of residences to consider during your househunting trip.

When must my househunting trip be completed?
You and/or your spouse must complete your househunting trip as indicated in the following table:
For Your househunting trip must be completed by
You. The day before you report to your new official station.
Your spouse. The earlier of:
(a) The day before your family relocates to your new official station; or
(b) The day before the maximum time for beginning allowable travel expires.

What transportation expenses will my agency pay?
Your agency will authorize you to travel by the transportation mode(s) (e.g., airline, train, or privately owned automobile) it determines to be advantageous to the Government. Your agency will pay for your transportation expenses by the authorized mode(s). If you travel by any other mode(s), your agency will pay your transportation expenses not to exceed the cost of transportation by the authorized mode(s).

May I retain any balance left over from my househunting reimbursement if my Lump Sum amount is more than adequate to cover my househunting trip?
Yes, if your Lump Sum househunting amount is more than adequate to cover your househunting expenses any balance belongs to you.

If I am filing a claim for fixed househunting, am I required to provide any receipts?
Yes, you are required to provide the itinerary of air schedule to include the transportation cost, if flying. You are also required to provide receipts for any reimbursable transportation expense of $75 or more.


What will I be reimbursed if I park my POV at the airport while performing my househunting trip?
You agency may reimburse your parking fee as an allowable transportation expense not to exceed the cost of taxi fare to/from the terminal.

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Regulatory Links

Defense Travel Management Office 
Travel Regulation
Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) 
Joint Travel Regulation (JTR) 
Financial Management Regulation, Volume 9: Travel Policy and Procedures
Government Sponsored Travel Card